Priest's Page...

'Maureen's Musings'

September 2014

"Smoke hangs like haze over harvested fields,
The gold of stubble, the brown of turned earth
And you walk under the red light of fall
The scent of fallen apples, the dust of threshed grain
The sharp, gentle chill of fall.
Here as we move into the shadows of autumn
The night that brings the morning of spring
Come to us, Lord of Harvest
Teach us to be thankful for the gifts you bring us ..."
- Autumn Equinox Ritual

September is a month that sometimes has a gentle sadness in my mind, as the warmth of summer begins to fade and the chill of Autumn starts to be more noticeable - although sometimes we get really wonderful weather in late September! And there is also the excitement and anticipation from new starts - new crops being sown as the old ones are harvested; new terms at school; new events being planned at Church...

During the first weekend of September I am hoping that lots of you will come down to St Mary's at Patshull - on 7th Sept at 4.30pm for an evening service to celebrate St Mary's patronal festival (this actually falls on 8th Sept - so I have gone for the nearest Sunday to that.) It is sad that we cannot use this beautiful little church more often, but the practicalities of getting there and opening it up make that hard - especially once the weather turns for winter... I am hoping that in framing the summer months we can at least have a worshipping presence there in the 'other' half of the parish.

The following weekend - on 14th September, we have been invited to our partner church - St Alban's Ashmore Park, Wednesfield for an evening communion service at 7pm. I am hoping that some of our teenagers will come and contribute to the service and we will also be celebrating and dedicating the picture which was painted during the 'Close the Gap' conference. It is now hanging in St Alban's, where it is being much appreciated. We have a print of it in St Chad's - just to excite your interest! Come along and see the real thing that evening.

And at the end of the month we will again be celebrating our own Harvest Festival... (can it really be a whole year since the Scarecrows last made an appearance???!) Well no Scarecrows this year (Booo! - fingers crossed for next year!), but we will be celebrating that weekend with a wedding on the Saturday and a Baptism in our morning Harvest Communion - so that should make it all a very jolly time.

We will again be sending contributions from our Harvest displays to the Foodbank - still sadly much needed. Please think about this when donating gifts of food for the Harvest displays. There is currently a suggestion that a foodbank may even be set up in Wombourne in the near future - such is the level of need locally.

May God grant you a fruitful September!

Every Blessing

8th September - The birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

"This festival in honour of the birth of the mother of our Lord is celebrated on this day (or in our case the nearest Sunday to it!) in both the eastern and western Church calendars. This festival acknowledges the preparation by God of his people to receive their Saviour and Lord, putting 'heaven in ordinary' and showing that mortal flesh can be the bearer of Christ to the world."

In other words, it is a day when we can thank God that he chose to enter into human existence by choosing to be born as a human child and sharing all our joys and woes. Churches dedicated to St Mary can regard it as their special 'birthday' too.

The Collect or Special Prayer for this day....
Almighty and everlasting God,
who stooped to raise fallen humanity
through the child-bearing of blessed Mary:
grant that we, who have seen your glory
revealed in our human nature
and your love made perfect in our weakness,
may daily be renewed in your image
and conformed to the pattern of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.